This is one of my favorite eps, although I never seem to remember to include it in my list of favorite eps.  I love the whole opening sequence -- there's absolutely no dialogue, which adds a lot of tension.  And when Grady Long gets shot, we watch his helmet tumble down the hill, not him, which is a neat touch.

After the credits, we're at the graveside.  I wonder who marked the grave?  Do you think Saunders did it?  Or did Hanley tell one of the others, like Caje, to mark it so Saunders didn't have to?  I can't decide.  I do think the whole ep would have been more powerful if we'd known Grady Long beforehand -- you know, if he'd been an early regular like Kirby or Caje.  But it's a good portrait of sorrow all the same.  I like how Saunders's pain comes out as sarcasm.  He snarks at Hanley, tossing out, "That's a shame" when Hanley tries to tell him about the plot for the ep.  Hanley snaps back, then you can see he feels bad.

I like Delaney -- he's sweet and shy, and very wholesome.  Someone Saunders just can't hate for taking Grady's place.

(DA!)-- Doesn't the dirt and scruffiness of Saunders accentuate his cheekbones and make him look even more sad?  Which, of course, makes me want to comfort him... poor guy, he could use a hug!

I like how Hanley responds to Saunders in this ep -- he doesn't coddle him (leave that to me!), but returns the sarcasm with, "Why don't you write your congressman?"  Of  course, Saunders is not to be out-sarcasm-ed today, and he shoots, "They drafted him" right back.

Kirby fondling the B.A.R. is a great scene -- he relates well with it, and treats it with a mixture of respect and carelessness that's totally believable.  And I love Billy and Littlejohn's argument about making coffee in the helmet.  I'm a bit worried by the appearance of chickens, until I remember this is an ep from Kennedy, not Altman.

(DA!)--Check out how Saunders has his coat collar turned up when he gives the guys the lowdown on today's plot.  He looks like a hood, ala "Blackboard Jungle!"

Littlejohn is not one to waste words.  When Braddock asks him what's wrong with Saunders, he replies simply, "Grady Long."  Nice characterization there -- I can believe this has something to do with his growing up on a farm during the Depression -- "Waste not, want not", etc.

Okay, I really love all little squabbles between Littlejohn and Billy.  I really do.  The one with the lost grenade pin is definitely one of the best.  They time every grimace, every eye-roll, everything perfectly.

(DA!)--Hey, that one chicken-chasing Kraut is really built!  And how come none of our guys get to run around looking like that?  I demand more shower and shaving scenes.

As usual, Saunders is right (when he suggests calling in artillery and then running for it).  Why doesn't Hanley ever learn to just follow Saunders's suggestions without arguing over them?  Oh yeah, cuz then the eps would be half as long...

It occurs to me that when we set up an OP or some such thing in a deserted town, we should pick the second-best spot.  The Krauts seem to always agree with us on the best place to set up, and we end up hiding in a lot of basements.

Does every French village have a river with a stone bridge?  Are we making prefab French villages and setting them up all over Normandy to confuse the Germans?

I like that Delaney dies before he finds out if he knocked out the machine gun or not.  Adds an extra bit of emotion to the ep, not that it needed more.

The ep makes a nice circle -- it ends where it began, with a dead B.A.R. man and a new replacement.  But Saunders and the others have changed -- and I think this ep marks the true end of Goofy Saunders.  

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